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Is There a Way to Pay Marketers a Commission, Similar to Salespeople?

This Dog's Life (.co) is growing and we are looking to bring on a marketing person. While we have a small monthly budget for marketing, we don't have a lot to pay the person. While this may be a sign it is too soon to bring someone on, I was wondering if there are other options? I realize there is equity to offer and a deferred salary but any other model?

I am mostly focused on having the person drive viewers to the site via paid advertising placement and was seeing if anyone does a sales model. So for money received through ads on the site, they could get a cut of it. Is this common? Or would the better route be to possibly just hire a third-party to manage these ads?

We are just really looking to find viewers in an efficient and quick way.

Thanks!

Andrea

26 Replies

Jay Schweid
0
0
Jay Schweid Advisor
Seasoned Entrepreneur | Producer | Executive Producer | Mentor | Advisor | Dad

Hi,

We might be able to help and work with you and a small budget as long as there are reasonable expectations, goals, etc. Feel free to contact me directly.

Personally, I've always found that when you hire people on spec, etc. you don't get the best performance - regardless of the best intentions on both sides.

Jay

Lane Campbell
0
0
Lane Campbell Advisor
Lifelong Entrepreneur
What are your goals for the marketing program?
Andrea H
0
0
Andrea H Entrepreneur
Special Projects Director
To build up unique visitors to our site.
Efrain Gerard Benavides
0
0
CRM Functional/Solution Architect, Project Manager at Cognizant Technology Solutions
Indeed...that is how Google operates...PayPerClick...in your case you pay for bringing Qualified Prospects to your Pipeline...cheers from Vancouver, Canada
Anthony Miller
0
1
Anthony Miller Advisor
President & CEO at millermedia7
It really sounds like you may not be ready to hire a someone full-time. If you do in fact hire someone, I would make sure they're google adwords certified. We may be able to help you out if you go with the agency approach. Thanks!
Heather Bothwell
2
0
Heather Bothwell Entrepreneur
Managing Director at 30 Miles North
Hi Andrea,

You are going to want to look for someone who is well versed in "Performance Marketing".

Avoid "brand advertising" such as boosted visibility, engagement, fan followings, and content performance. (All important parts of the big picture but not as trackable and can waste budget quickly.) Make sure the strategy is purely geared around either trackable sales conversions or sign ups, especially if a commission incentive is involved. I'd definately set some benchmarks and a timeline based on your current traffic and what you are wanting the end goal to look like. - Heather Bothwell [removed to protect privacy]
Alexandra Damsker
11
0
Innovative blockchain marketplace
There are a lot of models. LOTS. There is no perfect way to do anything, and anyone who tells you "don't do this" or "always do that" generally has a very narrow amount of experience.

When dealing with very little cash, the things to try are:

1. Find a True Believer. These are the best. People you can bring on board as a team member who believe in your company, your mission, and your future are the absolute best you can get. While you may not want to think about things like equity or deferred salary, that's basically what all core team members are doing, and these people do anything and everything they can, including using contacts they have, working overtime, etc.

2. Barter. Someone has some skill or group of skills that a marketer wants. For example, I've got a great branding and marketing guy. He has lots of clients. Some of them are going through corporate or business issues that require an advisor with significant legal and/or business background, both of which I happen to have. I advise the companies, and get their goodwill and his expertise. See how this works? Figure out what you have, and how you can make it work. I've got deals for lots of different things, and keep that all-important out-bound cashflow to a low trickle, while building my network and goodwill in quick fashion. (Yes, it increases your workload. But who said starting a company was easy?)

3. Work out a shared deal with other start-ups. You probably don't need someone full-time, and you need the exact same services as other people in the same stage. Form a mini economy of scale, and batch-buy some hours from someone, which also maximizes the marketer's odds that one of you will make it past start-up and actually become a full-time work project.

4. Figure out how to do some marketing yourself. It doesn't take much. There are a bunch of books on how to create your own buzz/ PR/ marketing. Start building it yourself until you have enough cash flow to pay a retainer.

5. Consider a small salary from a portion of directly generated gross margin, plus a vesting amount of equity that begins to trigger on reaching a certain amount of salary, further milestoned.

There are other ways, but those are off the top of my head. If you need it, you can make it work. Just make sure you need it, not just want it, so you don't make a deal you don't want but are stuck with.

You may also want a probationary period.

Kind regards,
Alexandra
Andrew Lockley
0
0
Andrew Lockley Advisor
Investor and strategy consultant
Commission junction or affiliate window
Heather Bothwell
0
0
Heather Bothwell Entrepreneur
Managing Director at 30 Miles North
Hi Andrea, You are going to want to look for someone who is well versed in "Performance Marketing". Avoid "brand advertising" for the time being such as boosted visibility, engagement, fan followings, and content performance. (All important parts of the big picture but not as trackable and can waste budget quickly.) Make sure the strategy is purely geared around either trackable sales conversions or sign ups, especially if a commission incentive is involved. I'd definitely set some benchmarks and a timeline based on your current traffic and what you are wanting the end goal to look like. - Heather Bothwell
Sean McBeth
1
0
Sean McBeth Entrepreneur
Chief Technology Officer at Highland Fundraising Solutions, LLC
Hi Andrea. You say your goal is "to build up unique visitors to our site", but that reads more like a strategy rather than a goal. What would you get if you had more unique visitors to your site?

I tend to think of goals as about achieving something of "value", in the economic sense. I apply a litmus test that, if it doesn't increase my happiness, or if I can't eat it, wear it, or live in it, then it's notintrinsically"valuable". Everything else then, as far as work and earning are concerned, are just strategies to obtain value.

If the goal is to make money via advertising revenue, it seems to me to be sort of backwards to pay for advertising. I'm not a marketer, though, so maybe it takes money to make money here. However, everything I've read lately has said that advertising is constantly dying system and the only people who make money off of it are the ones who can invent new types of advertisements that consumers don't immediately recognize as advertisements, to stay ahead of the curve for people figuring out the patterns and learning a blind spot for them in their consumption patterns.

Also, having spent a small amount of money on advertising through Google AdWords to gain traffic on a site, I found that it was really just not worth the money. Google Analytics was telling me that I had a certain level of repeat users that turned out to be complete fantasy; I didn't even have 1% of the number they were claiming. When I cut the advertisements off, I went back to the only slightly more than the number of users that I had gained organically before the advertising push. It certainly wasn't worth the $5000 I had spent.

If I were you (and I suppose I am you, because I'm in a similar situation), I'd be looking towards figuring out a good monetization strategy that does not involve ads (if you haven't already), then try to build organic traffic towards it, notadvertisements. I personally don't have the time or caring to be an innovative advertiser, not the sort that can stay ahead of the curve.
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